Freehold Borough officials ink agreements with special counsel

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FREEHOLD – The Borough Council in Freehold Borough has entered into a legal services agreement with an attorney who will serve as the municipality’s redevelopment counsel and cannabis counsel.

On Feb. 8, council members authorized a professional services agreement with Joseph Baumann, of the firm McManimon, Scotland & Baumann, LLC, Roseland. The agreement is for a sum not to exceed $125,000. Baumann will provide redevelopment and cannabis counsel to Freehold Borough.

Cannabis businesses are permitted to operate in Freehold Borough, but no such businesses have yet been licensed in the community.

Council members also authorized a professional services agreement for special labor counsel with Leslie London, also of the firm McManimon, Scotland & Baumann. The agreement is for a sum not to exceed $25,000.

In other business, council members appointed Borough Administrator Stephen Gallo as the temporary chief financial officer (CFO). Freehold Borough is currently without the services of a CFO.

According to a resolution, the borough is permitted under state statute to appoint a temporary CFO following the appointment of a certified municipal finance officer to the office. The governing body may also appoint an individual who does not hold a municipal finance officer certificate to serve as temporary CFO for a period not to exceed one year.

Gallo has been the borough administrator since 2020.

And, council members authorized a professional services agreement with attorney Ray Raya, who will serve as the municipal public defender. The services are in an amount not to exceed $13,000.

The municipal court may appoint the municipal public defender to represent an individual’s interests at the discretion of the municipal court judge and based upon the defendant’s financial situation, according to a resolution.

Council members also took the following action:

• Authorized a professional services agreement with Millennium Strategies, LLC, to provide consulting services for grant writing. The firm’s services are in a sum not to exceed $36,000;

• Authorized a professional services agreement with Beacon Planning and Consulting Services, LLC, to provide professional planning services. The firm’s services are in a sum not to exceed $25,000;

• Authorized a professional services agreement for financial and management consulting services with Government Strategies Group, LLC. The firm’s services are in a sum not to exceed $15,000;

• Authorized a professional services agreement with Abbington Engineering, LLC, for engineering services related to Ford Avenue. The firm’s services are in a sum not to exceed $50,000.